Unsung Heroes Of Open Water Swimming

Unsung Heroes Of Open Water Swimming

Every open water swim has volunteers, people who unselfishly give their time, talents and energies to support open water swimmers from the English Channel or to Fiji.

Volunteers include pilots, kayakers, feeders, on-land support crew, safety personnel and officials, those men and women who serve as impartial judges of the sport.

At the upcoming USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships where America’s best open water swimmers will face top swimmers from Canada, Mexico, Azerbaijan, South Africa and Egypt, certified open water officials from across the US will get together for an officials clinic. After discussing rules, regulations, protocols, equipment and their common experiences, the officials will have plenty of opportunities to work at the USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships (5K and 10K) as well as officiate at the new 2K and 4K Open Water Pursuit races.

The referees will gain experience in new timing systems that incorporate split times, a 10K course with 9 feeding opportunities, maintaining safety when Spectator Boats are on the course, judging close races with photo-finish cameras, officiating team events that include staggered starts and every other aspect of administering and officiating open water swims. The officials include Kenneth Schuh (Washington), John Kinney and Mike Saltzstein from California, Julie Floyd (Kentucky), Wayne Shulby (North Carolina), Carol Frivaldo (Arizona), Bob Menck (Nebraska), Bob Burwell and Chip Carrigan (Ohio), Jayne Spittler (Illinois), Al Smith (Oregon), Robert Schailey (Pennsylvania), Doug Colley (Maryland), Mark McCaw and Susan Carlin (Florida), Herb Schwab (Texas), Michael Downs and Kimberly Schlimgen (Virginia), and Scott Appleyard (Michigan).

As the sport continues to grow, the number of events and swimmers will increase, giving these officials plenty of opportunities to share their knowledge, promote the sport and enable fair competitions.

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